Snow Day? Wintertime Activities

It is wintertime –  has the snow fallen yet?  If it has, it is, or it just might, what are you to do?  Below is a list of indoor and outdoor activities that just might make your day a little better:

  • Head for the hills!  The mountains of Washington beckon with skiing (downhill, skate, cross-country…and more), snowmobiling,  snowshoeing, ice skating, and more… Mount Rainier, Snoqualmie Pass, Mission Ridge, Teanaway, Stevens Pass, Crystal Mountain, Mount Baker, Mazama/Winthrop, Leavenworth, travel into Canada (Whistler among others)….
  • Take a guided snowshoe or nature hike tour
  • Seek out and watch the snow geese, bald eagles, or other natural habitat
  • Take a walk around the local wetlands, nature preserve or town park
  • Go to a nearby lodge or resort (like Suncadia, Semiahmoo, Salish)
  • Power out?  Play a board or card game indoors – like Yahtzee!
  • Power out?  Listen to the radio and “do a little dance” – got batteries?
  • See a movie
  • Visit a museum
  • Clean, go through “stuff”
  • Go to the beach
  • Drink hot chocolate with marshmallows or hot tea
  • Visit the library
  • Take in a concert and a local club (like Fitz and the Tantrums at the Showbox – great show!)
  • Patronize a local business nearby your home
  • Sled with the neighborhood kids
  • Be creative when building your snowman
  • Bundle up and take the pooch out
  • Catch up on a craft or hobby you have been putting off
  • Cuddle up by a fire
  • Take photographs of trees, bushes, and other snow-covered landscape
  • and more…


Bare branches…

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” –Mark Twain

“January is here, with eyes that keenly glow,
A frost-mailed warrior
striding a shadowy steed of snow.”
Edgar Fawcett

“Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.”
Robert Frost, Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evenin

“Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday’s dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow.”
Nelda Hartmann, January Morn

Seattle Mist

The Seattle Mist is Seattle’s answer to the LFL (Lingerie Football League).  If you like football and want to see a bit more skin, then this is the game for you!   There are 12 teams in the LFL (6 in each conference) and play four games each (2 at home, 2 away).  The Seattle Mist finished the season 2-2.  They play two 17-minute (or so) halves at Showare Center in Kent, WA.   There is not a bad seat in the house (but that might depend on your neighbors).  Rock/dance music is played throughout the game… except for when action is in play (love it!).  At the final game, the Seattle Seahawks Blue Thunder drum team was in attendance along with four Seattle Seahawks players to assist with the coin toss.   Seattle Mist gear is available for purchase and the gals had a meet & greet/sign autographs after the game.   It’s entertaining, action packed, and makes for a good night out!

Bistro San Martin

Bistro San Martin, this gem of a restaurant in Arlington, WA, is worth any amount of time and or money to get there.  They serve a fine dining menu that includes a fresh sheet with a nice variety of fresh, seasonal seafood, meat, and vegetarian options.  The incredible handcrafted sauces add to the flavorful and delicious creations cooked-up in the open kitchen by Chef Martin…an excellent one man show behind the grill.  Steve, personable and engaging, is the perfect front of the house host.

On the menu this evening, the following was thoroughly enjoyed:

  • Mushroom Puff PastryLocal Mixed Mushrooms Sautéed with Garlic and Fresh Herbs in Brandy Cream Sauce
  • Gnudi Ravioli Potato Gnocchi – with Ricotta, Parmesan, Spinach, Garlic, Brown Butter and Tomato Cream Sauce
  • Cup of Seafood Bisque – crab, halibut, and shrimp
  • Jumbo Sea Scallops – Pan-Seared Fresh Jumbo Sea Scallops with Sambal-Tomato Beurre Blanc and  Mixed Herb Chimichurri (South American Pesto).  Served with Edamame & Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan & Seasonal Vegetable Medley
  • Roasted Duck – “Maple Leaf Farms” All Natural Roasted Half of Duckling with a Seasonal Fruit Sauce and Red Wine Reduction, Basmati and Wild Rice with Toasted Almonds, Parsley, Green Onions and Seasonal Vegetable Medley
  • Raspberry Champagne Sorbet
  • Bottle of Five Star Cellars Merlot

The decor is a comfy mediterranean mix that has a warmth.  The flower vases are made from antique silverware which I thought was clever and added a nice touch.

All-in-all, a definite gem in the “Seattle” food scene.  The restaurant is closed for three weeks in January, so make a plan for a visit in the near future.  Reservations are recommended.  An all-around fabulous meal and experience!  Be sure to put it on your “must-try” list for 2012!

What are you going to make of your 2012?

Whether you believe that December 21st, 2012 is the end of our days here on earth, or not… what do you want to make of this new year?  Here are a few ideas:

  • Once a quarter, go to an art gallery, museum, the symphony, or see a play or musical
  • Get active and enjoy an outdoor activity once a month
  • Try a new restaurant on a regular basis
  • Visit the Space Needle – it’s the 50th Anniversary!
  • A business idea…encourage others to try your new product (ex: release a different beer every month)
  • Have a party on December 20th
  • Be a spectator and go to a sporting event that you haven’t seen yet or been to in a while
  • If you are watching your funds…how about going to a new park or walking trail?

Whatever it might be, make a plan (or be spontaneous) and get out there!

Polar Bear Plunge – Happy New Year 2012!

This New Year’s Day, the annual Polar Bear Plunge returned to the south end of Gene Coulon Park in Renton, WA.  At 11 a.m., many brave souls (or least those that wanted to make a statement) jumped into Lake Washington.  The water was 45 degrees with a temperature of 46 degrees outside.

This year the event was co-sponsored by Ivar’s (and yes, clam chowder was served) and the Reserve Sanctuary Apartments at The Landing. Other Puget Sound dips, plunges, dives, or swims are held at Matthews Beach in Kirkland, Magnuson Park, Ballard and Alki in Seattle, and at Pt. Defiance in Tacoma.  No registration required.  My guess is a couple hundred people showed up for the frigid event in Renton.  Some in costume.

Take the plunge and start the year off with a “chill”!  Happy New Year 2012!